Venezuela’s supreme court, which is controlled by President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government, has ruled it is taking over the opposition-dominated National Assembly, sparking fears that the crisis-riven country has moved towards full-blown dictatorship, The Financial Times reports:
Venezuela’s political factions have been at loggerheads since the opposition won control of the legislature in 2015 congressional elections, ending over a decade of near-complete governing control by the ruling socialist coalition.
The court ruling was a sign “that the country’s political system is crumbling, and fast,” said Peter Schechter, senior vice-president of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America centre in Washington DC. “If there was any doubt before, there should no longer be one: Venezuela is a dictatorship.”
Members of the opposition say the Supreme Court ruling taking control over legislative powers for being “in contempt” is a coup d’etat and is openly calling on the military to take action.
Venezuelan political analyst Carlos Romero warned that “democracy is in danger” in the country.
“We’re talking about an indiscriminate and illegal use of the Supreme Court’s powers to do away with the legislative branch,” he told AFP.
“To legally overtake the functions of a branch of government is a coup,” said Christopher Sabatini (left) of Columbia University.